"Demographically, there's going to be a continued demand," said John Mehrkens, vice president of project development for Senior Housing Partners, the development arm of Presbyterian Homes.
During much of the past year, in fact, senior housing projects have accounted for a substantial portion of the area's residential building activity.
"Without financing, projects don't happen," Mehrkens
Start dates for the Eden Prairie and Wayzata projects, both of which will include non-senior elements, have both already been pushed back a year amid the uncertainty in the capital markets.
The depressed housing market is a factor in slowing senior development, Mehrkens
said, noting that many seniors are sitting tight, waiting for a more opportune time to sell their existing homes.
"We need the housing market to recover," Mehrkens
is seeing some hopeful signs on the horizon: "Our traditional method of financing projects has been municipal bonds (and) I think we're starting to see signs in the market that bond prices are coming back our way."
said the nonprofit hopes to start on the St. Paul project this fall, presuming financing falls into place.
is now hoping to start construction in Wayzata
in the summer of 2010.
said that Presbyterian Homes will tap partner sub-developers for the non-senior elements of the project - condos, retail, hotel - to work within the master plan for the area.
Presbyterian Homes began talking to the city of Eden Prairie about its plans there in 2006.
The expansive project calls for 707 units of housing - 447 senior units and 260 units of non-senior housing -- plus 70,000 square feet of retail near the Eden Prairie Center mall
"The plan has not changed in any way: it's just being postponed probably a year," Mehrkens
said that Presbyterian Homes now hopes to start construction there in late 2010 or early 2011.
They went to a number of providers and we ended up being selected as their partner that they wanted to move forward with," Mehrkens
added that the nonprofit also has plans to replace a 32-bed assisted-living center in Spring Park for an estimated $12 million and to relocate a care center in New Richmond, Wis., also an estimated $12 million project.
In downtown Minneapolis, Presbyterian Homes paid $11.6 million in November 2005 for an 8-story, 132,000 square foot glass office building at 1221 Nicollet Avenue.
The plan has always been for eventual redevelopment.
said plans to start redevelopment in 2011 there will likely be pushed back to a later, yet-to-be determined date.